There is always a hint of the incestuous with the close knit family with Jack the main character being aroused at the sight of any substantial quantity of his sister’s body. But over hanging the family is the slow decline of the mother who becomes bedridden and then finally dies.
For Jack and his elder sister Julie the question with their mother’s death becomes one of control. Who will now run the family and be in a position to give orders? Jack was told by his mother it would be a task for both of them but that message was never passed on before her death.
Meanwhile the teenager becomes isolated and unkempt being ashamed of his acne and of his lack of friendships, even in his own family.